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Brewin Flames

Calgary Flames 2018/19 Season Chatter

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1 hour ago, Hockey Junkie said:

Lets see how this kid fares two days in a row. St Louis will bring it


That "punk" Rittich is faring pretty well...as is his team.
Only thing St. Louis has brought so far are boos raining down on the team as Jake Allen is pulled in the 2nd in favor of Jordan "Don't Call Me Michael" Binnington.

Two periods left to go, granted, but Calgary is just in an unbelievable zone right now going back several games, and the hapless Blues honestly don't look like a match for them, or anyone else, right now.

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Game # 34

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Gaudreau, Quine score twice to lead Flames past Blues 7-2

Johnny Gaudreau chips the puck over the shoulder of Blues goalie Jordan Binnington for his first of two goals.

ST. LOUIS -- Matthew Tkachuk spent his childhood dreaming of scoring an NHL goal in his hometown.

It became reality Sunday.

Tkachuk got his first goal in the city where his dad was a star, Johnny Gaudreau and Alan Quine each scored twice, and the Calgary Flames beat the St. Louis Blues 7-2.

Tkachuk grew up in St. Louis while his father, Keith Tkachuk, totaled 208 goals over nine seasons with the Blues. A large contingent of Tkachuk's friends and family attended the game Sunday, including his mother, Chantal.

"Getting one here is something I've always envisioned," Tkachuk said. "A million times, I've pictured it. And to have it happen like this, it was definitely something I will never forget.

"Now that I got it, it felt great and I don't have to worry about it anymore," he added.

Tkachuk came into the game with six assists in six career games against St. Louis.

"He grew up in this building in essence and it was good for him to get us on the board and play real well today," Calgary coach Bill Peters said.

Tkachuk scored the winning goal in a 2-1 triumph over Minnesota on Saturday. The 21-year-old became an alternate captain for Calgary this year and has played a key role in propelling the Flames to the top of the Western Conference standings.

"He's one of our best players, night-in, night-out," longtime captain Mark Giordano said. "He got us going today."

Calgary has won eight of nine and leads the West with 46 points. Elias Lindholm and Giordano also scored, and goalie David Rittich made 26 saves.

Calgary, which is 12-2-1 in its last 15, scored four times on its first 15 shots in the opening period.

Oskar Sundqvist and Tyler Bozak scored for St. Louis, which was trying for its first three-game winning streak of the season.

Calgary is off to the second-best start in franchise history through 34 games. The Flames went 23-6-5 for 51 points in 1988-89.

Tkachuk pounced on the rebound of Giordano's shot to get the Flames going 5:58 into the game. Lindholm scored short-handed on a breakaway to match a career high with his 17th goal, Giordano added on with a power-play goal and Quine made it 4-0 less than two minutes later.

"We're a deep team, we're a good team," Giordano said. "I think the belief is there right now. And we have to continue that feeling. And time you can pile up points before the halfway point of the season -- it's a good thing."

Rittich improved to 11-3-1. The undrafted free agent made 34 saves in the win over Minnesota 24 hours earlier.

St. Louis goalie Jake Allen was replaced by Jordan Binnington after the first period. Allen has been pulled before the second period in two of his past four starts.

"We were terrible in the first period," St. Louis interim coach Craig Berube said. "Every player -- terrible. I don't know how you're not ready to play. You're in the NHL, that's your job."

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Game # 35

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Bishop, Khudobin combine for shutout, Stars beat Flames 2-0

Jamie Benn and Radek Faksa each find the back of the net in the Stars' 2-0 victory over the Flames.

DALLAS -- Ben Bishop got help from backup Anton Khudobin, and together they made franchise history.

Bishop and Khudobin teamed up for the first combined shutout for the Dallas Stars in a 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

Jamie Benn and Radek Faksa scored for the Stars as they dominated the first two periods.

Bishop was injured with 6:23 remaining in the second period when Garnet Hathaway skated into him behind the net. Khudobin closed out the period with three saves, and Bishop returned for the third, when he made 12 of his 21 stops. Hathaway was penalized for goaltender interference.

The Stars' starter underwent the NHL's concussion protocol late in the second period and into the second intermission.

"He just kind of hit me in the chin there," Bishop said. "He got me decently good.

"I passed (the protocol), so I went out for the third. It's a little easier with the intermission there. I kind of regrouped and got ready for the third."

Montgomery said the decision to return was Bishop's.

"He said, `Yeah. I want to go back in.' I'm going to let him make that call, especially when he was so calm and in control."

The combined shutout was the first in the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas franchise's 51 seasons and the 67th in NHL history, according to the league.

Later in the second period, after Hathaway hit the Stars' Tyler Seguin, Dallas defenseman Roman Polak went after Hathaway and drew a roughing penalty.

The Dallas penalty killers, after allowing three power-play goals at Colorado on Saturday, killed Polak's penalty and three others.

"There was an intent there by Hathaway to run into (Seguin), who had no idea he was going to get hit," Montgomery said. "Good job by Roman Polak."

Dallas returned from an 0-4 trip to win their fifth straight home game. The Pacific Division-leading Flames had won three straight and eight of nine.

"We had two days off where everyone got to say hello to their kids, their wives, and enjoy the great weather here in Dallas, Montgomery said. "You come with a new refreshed mentality, and I think it showed right from the start."

David Rittich stopped 26 shots for the Flames.

The Stars' 12th shot gave them a 1-0 lead at 12:15 of the first period. Tyler Seguin passed from just behind the goal line to the front of the net, where Benn easily deflected it past Rittich.

Dallas outshot Calgary 14-6 and won 17 of 24 faceoffs (71 percent) in the first period.

"We were poor early," Calgary coach Bill Peters said. "Didn't win the faceoffs. Therefore, never had the puck and therefore you see the discrepancy in the shots."

Dallas took a 2-0 lead at 17:17 of the second when the puck went from Martin Hanzal to Faksa in the slot. He put the puck on his backhand and slid it into the right corner.

For Tuesday's game, Faksa moved from centering a line to playing left wing on Hanzal's line.

"They just had two guys going after Marty, so I tried to go to the net and it bounced to me. I saw the goalie go poke-check and I get kind of lucky I made it."

Rittich's season record fell to 11-4-1.

"He was good again," Peters said. "He gave us a chance, kept us in the game early. He did his job tonight."

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Game # 36

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Lightning rally for shootout win over Flames

In the seventh round of the shootout, J.T. Miller scores the game-winner to give the Lightning a 5-4 win over the Flames.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Louis Domingue missed J.T. Miller's winning shootout goal on Thursday night.

"I wasn't watching," Domingue said. "I was drinking water. That's kind of what I do, honestly, and it worked out."

Sure did.

Miller and Victor Hedman scored in the tiebreaker and Domingue had 33 saves, leading the surging Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames.

Ondrej Palat, Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn and Dan Girardi scored in regulation for the Lightning (27-7-2), who improved to 10-0-1 in their past 11 games.

Domingue stopped each of the seven shots he faced in overtime. He allowed one goal to Sean Monahan in the shootout.

"I like our chances every time we go to extra time," Domingue said. "We're a pretty good team. That's what makes us such a good team. We find ways to win games. It doesn't matter how. We take the two points and run."

Girardi said Domingue won the game for the Lightning.

"He made some huge saves, back-to-back on Monahan (in overtime)," he said. "It was too many to really count. He was huge for us -- in the shootout as well, making some big saves."

Nikita Kucherov added two assists. Tampa Bay is 16-0-0 when Kucherov records a multipoint game this season.

Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett each had a goal and an assist for the Flames (22-11-3), who led 3-1 after one. Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund also scored.

Making his fourth straight start, Calgary goalie David Rittich had 32 saves.

The Flames fell behind 3:38 into the first when Palat swatted a loose puck past Rittich. But they put together an impressive response.

Bennett tied it 51 seconds later with a tap-in goal of his own. Domingue got a piece of Bennett's first shot, but the puck trickled behind him and the Calgary forward adeptly followed up on the play.

Monahan put Calgary in front at 7:50 when he muscled his way into the slot past Tampa Bay defenseman Braydon Coburn and one-timed a pass from Elias Lindholm past Domingue.

Backlund then was the beneficiary of some hard work by Bennett 12:25 into the first. Bennett fought hard behind the net to get the puck out front to Backlund, who backhanded his linemate's pass past Domingue.

Stamkos scored his 18th goal of the season at 3:19 of the second when his pass to teammate Adam Erne went off Calgary defenseman TJ Brodie and past Rittich.

Killorn then swatted a rebound in behind the Calgary goalie at 5:52, tying it at 3.

After Girardi blasted a point shot past Rittich at 15:35 of the third, Gaudreau backhanded a shot through Domingue's legs at 17:32 to tie things up once again.

"I found a way to tie it up and we played really well in overtime," Gaudreau said. "I thought we had a lot of really good looks -- all three pairs or trios. It's unfortunate, but it was a good game. I'm sure it was entertaining for the fans and it was fun to play in that game."

Game notes

Playing in his 700th NHL game, Stamkos scored his 366th goal to pass Martin St. Louis for second on the club's career list. Stamkos trails just Vincent Lecavalier (383) for most goals in team history. ...

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This was a playoff quality game.... just like the Bolts had with Winnipeg a few days prior to this one.

Tellin ya, if the Lightning make the Finals and their opponents are either the Jets or Flames, and THIS is the kind of hockey we will see, then the SC Finals will be very exciting.

Can't wait to see what the Bolts n Oilers do on TB's next stop.


As for Calgary, they played a very aggressive, tough style that really would serve them well in the playoffs.
Only thing I would be concerned with if I am a Flames fan is, sometimes their aggression CAN get the better of them in terms of taking penalties at the wrong times and in leaving their backend wide open when their defensemen either pinch in or go for a big hit.

They may be able to get away with that more often during the regular season, but it could be "death" for the team in an actual playoff scenario.
Watched the Flames against the Minnesota Wild and Calgary got away with much of their aggressive play...… they paid for it more against the Lightning.



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1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

This was a playoff quality game.... just like the Bolts had with Winnipeg a few days prior to this one.

Tellin ya, if the Lightning make the Finals and their opponents are either the Jets or Flames, and THIS is the kind of hockey we will see, then the SC Finals will be very exciting.

Can't wait to see what the Bolts n Oilers do on TB's next stop.


As for Calgary, they played a very aggressive, tough style that really would serve them well in the playoffs.
Only thing I would be concerned with if I am a Flames fan is, sometimes their aggression CAN get the better of them in terms of taking penalties at the wrong times and in leaving their backend wide open when their defensemen either pinch in or go for a big hit.

They may be able to get away with that more often during the regular season, but it could be "death" for the team in an actual playoff scenario.
Watched the Flames against the Minnesota Wild and Calgary got away with much of their aggressive play...… they paid for it more against the Lightning.



Do not put them in the finals so fast. Like they say in baseball, save it. IE, save some of this for the post season. I think that Toronto and Buffalo and Washington are all going to be tough outs.

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Game # 37

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David Perron, Jake Allen leads Blues past Flames, 3-1

The puck pops up in the air and falls to David Perron, who controls it and wrists in a goal in the Blues' 3-1 victory.

CALGARY, Alberta -- St. Louis goalie Jake Allen rebounded at the Calgary Flames' expense.

Pulled after allowing four first period goals in home loss to Calgary last Sunday and after giving up another four goals Thursday in a loss at Vancouver, Allen made 28 saves in the Blues' 3-1 victory over the Flames on Saturday.

"We rebounded really well against a really good team here in Calgary, probably one of the hottest teams in the league," Allen said. "They kicked our butt pretty good in our own rink a couple weeks ago. It's just going to be a good feeling now to have a couple days off."

David Perron had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Bozak and Oskar Sundqvist also scored to help St. Louis finish 2-1-0 on their trip through Western Canada. Perron has nine goals and 11 assists in 16 games against Calgary since the start of the 2014-15 season.

"It's definitely coming for sure," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "This team has really good character. We've got some veterans who have been around a while. They know how to win."

Matthew Tkachuk scored his 16th goal for Calgary. The Flames have lost three straight. Calgary lost for the first time in regulation at home since Nov. 15, ending a 7-0-2 string.

"Just because we played well against a guy a couple days ago, doesn't mean it's going to automatically translate into today's game," Tkachuk said. "Maybe had it in the back of our minds that if we shot everything, some would go in, but I think we need to get more bodies (to the net)."

St. Louis opened the scoring 4:06 into the game. Perron gloved down a puck that had deflected high in the air and wristed a shot from inside 20 feet that beat goalie Mike Smith on the short-side. The Blues made it 2-0 at 11:43 when Bozak chipped in a rebound after Pat Maroon curled out from behind the net and had his initial shot stopped.

The Flames scored with 3:11 left in the first. On their first power play of the day, they needed just seven seconds to convert with Tkachuk steering in a centering feed from Elias Lindholm.

The Blues got some insurance two minutes into the third. Smith couldn't control the rebound of Sundqvist's 40-foot slap shot and when the puck popped back into the slot, Sundqvist converted.

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Game # 38

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Gaudreau's hat trick leads Flames past Jets, 4-1

Johnny Gaudreau records a hat trick, including a late empty netter in a 4-1 win against the Jets.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Johnny Gaudreau supplied the offense and heaped praise on netminder David Rittich.

Gaudreau had a hat trick as the Calgary Flames ended a three-game winless streak with a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.

Mark Jankowski had a short-handed, third-period goal for Calgary. Sean Monahan contributed three assists and Elias Lindholm added a pair.

Rittich made 35 saves.

"I think Ritter, Dave Rittich, played out of his mind tonight," Gaudreau said.

"He made some big saves and kept us in that game. It could have easily been 2-2, 3-3 there, going late into the third. He played unbelievable tonight and got us that win."

Adam Lowry scored for the Jets, who had won their previous two games and had a four-game win streak at home halted.

Gaudreau's first goal was a redirection by Jets forward Patrik Laine, who stuck out his stick to block Gaudreau's pass attempt to Lindholm, but the puck went by goalie Connor Hellebuyck. His third goal was into an empty net.

Hellebuyck stopped 24 shots for Winnipeg.

The Jets remained first the Western Conference, one point ahead of Calgary.

Jets forward Bryan Little was the victim of a couple of Rittich's solid saves.

"We had some really good chances and (Rittich) was standing on his head in there," Little said. "He was making some big saves at important times of the game, too. You're going to have those nights."

Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler said the Jets weren't sharp.

"We're not going to fool ourselves and pretend we played a great game and their goalie stole it," Wheeler said. "But he played well. They capitalized on their looks and we didn't. But we've got another level."

Winnipeg outshot Calgary 14-7 in the scoreless opening period, with both teams a bit sloppy after their holiday breaks. Rittich made a couple of key saves as the Flames went 0 for 2 on the power play and the Jets 0 for 1 in the first 20 minutes.

Gaudreau scored his 17th goal of the season at 1:04 of the second with Laine's accidental redirection.

A few minutes later, Jets fans had a bit of a scare when Hellebuyck bent over to smother a puck with his glove at the side of the crease. Noah Hanifin caught the goalie in the head with a knee, knocking off his mask. Hellebuyck appeared shaken, but after a trainer came out to look at him, he remained in the game.

Lowry tied it with 2:07 left in the period after he intercepted a pass by Alan Quine. But 54 seconds later, Gaudreau took a pass from Lindholm and put a backhand shot past a sprawled Hellebuyck.

Winnipeg's shots on goal were 25-20 after the second period.

The third period included a 2-on-1 with Little and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, but Little's shot hit Rittich's body as he slid over to make the save. Laine then rang a high shot off the iron and Little fired the puck, and Rittich made another save.

Jankowski's fifth of the season made it 3-1 at 15:39, and Gaudreau notched an empty-netter with 2:06 remaining. He left the ice right after that following a slash by Byfuglien earlier in the play.

Game notes

Calgary captain Mark Giordano, who had assist on the last goal, was playing in his 791st NHL game, tying him with Theo Fleury for fourth-most games with the Flames.

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Game # 39

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Edler scores in OT, Canucks defeat Flames 3-2

Alexander Edler nets a goal in overtime to give Vancouver a 3-2 win against Calgary.

CALGARY, Alberta -- The play of Alex Edler has the Vancouver Canucks on a roll.

Edler scored the overtime winner, had an assist and led both teams with more than 27 minutes of ice time as the Canucks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 Saturday night.

Just over three minutes into a back-and-forth overtime, Edler took a pass from Brock Boeser and his shot dribbled through the pads of David Rittich.

"I just tried to give it to (Boeser) and tried to create some space for him. No one picked me up and he made a great pass back to me," said Edler, who has four goals and 11 points in 16 games since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for a month.

When Edler returned on Nov. 24, the Canucks snapped an eight-game winless skid by beating the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. With their ice-time leader back in the fold, Vancouver has been playing better, having gone 8-2-1 in its last 11 to climb to within one point of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.

"He plays 26 minutes, 27 minutes for a reason. He's doing a great job out there," said goaltender Jacob Markstrom

Boeser and Elias Pettersson also scored for Vancouver.

The Canucks are 5-0-1 in their last six road games. Vancouver has four points through the first two stops of their six-game trip.

"It was a frustrating game," Calgary's Travis Hamonic said.

"You come up short in those games in overtime. It's the end of December and these points are crucial. You see how tight the standings are right now. Everyone's getting points around you, so you've got to keep pace."

Mark Jankowski and Hamonic scored short-handed goals for Calgary. The Flames remain in first place in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of San Jose. The Sharks visit the Saddledome on Monday.

"We've been cute here recently. I think we've been too cute," Flames coach Bill Peters said.

"Trying to pass it into the net, not willing to shoot it. I don't think we shoot the puck enough off the rush. In overtime, we had two 2-on-1's, nobody looked to be direct and be a shooter."

Vancouver tied the game at 2-all at 11:37 of the second, when Pettersson broke down the right side and fired a 40-foot wrist shot past Rittich.

The Flames took their first lead of the game 8:46 into the second, when Hamonic, on a two-on-one, chose to hang onto the puck and beat Jacob Markstrom for his third goal of the season.

It was Calgary's league-leading 12th short-handed goal, moving the Flames one ahead of the Arizona Coyotes.

The Flames tied the game 1-all at 14:30 of the first. Noah Hanifin broke in alone and while he was stopped by Markstrom, Jankowski shoveled in the rebound.

Jankowski, who also assisted on Hamonic's goal, is tied with Arizona's Michael Grabner for the league lead in both short-handed goals (four) and points (six).

Vancouver opened the scoring on the power play at 5:08. With Johnny Gaudreau off for slashing, Boeser sent a 25-foot wrist shot past Rittich, who was screened by Bo Horvat and didn't appear to see the shot.

The Canucks' improved penalty killing played a key role in the victory. Vancouver killed five penalties, including a 54-second, two-man advantage.

"You have five power plays, you've got to get at least one or two, and especially on home ice," said Calgary center Sean Monahan. "It isn't as sharp as it needs to be."

The Flames' power play is 1 for 18 in the last five games.

With a 31-save performance, Markstrom improved to 8-1-0 in his last nine starts. He's 16-10-3 on the season.

Rittich, starting over veteran Mike Smith for the sixth time in seven games, made 24 stops. He is 12-4-3.

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Game # 40

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Gaudreau and Monahan have four and five points each in 8-5 victory to close 2018

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

December 31st, 2018

There was no letup, no pause, and not a single half measure on record.

Just all-out, wire-to-wire firewagon hockey led - unsurprisingly - by two of their amped up superstars.

Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan closed out 2018 with a night to remember, scoring four and five points each in an 8-5 win over the San Jose Sharks at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Monahan's five helpers are a career high, and four others - Elias Lindholm (1G, 2A), Mikael Backlund (2), Matthew Tkachuk (1G, 2A) and Michael Frolik (2A) - had multi-point efforts, while David Rittich made 28 saves.

Gaudreau had two goals and two assists.

We shouldn't be surprised with 'Johnny' and 'Mony' do what they do and take over games.

But this… This was the kind of night when only fireworks would do to mark the occasion.

"A game for first place, in the Saddledome, in Calgary on New Year's Eve - doesn't get any better," Gaudreau said. "The fans were into it. Just a good night for our team.

"A lot of happy faces. The team won a big game against a good team."

None happier than James Neal, who snapped a 24-game goalless drought with a tally to get things rolling early in the third. Neal positioned himself in front and redirected a Sam Bennett pass home with his right foot.

Neal was then shown on the scoreboard flashing a smile the size of the 'Dome itself, and the crowd roared.

"That means a lot," Neal said. "Nice to see. Nice to get one.

"I've felt good after the break, had some good chances every night, and felt like I was getting better."

When players and coaches wax on about the importance of 'playing hard for the full 60,' they mean it. And earlier in the day, Bill Peters warned his team of the consequence of playing a mere 30 against a club of this caliber.

Only 60 would do, he said.

Sixty is what he got.

With the win, the Flames improve to 24-12-4 and have sole possession of first place in the Pacific.

"You don't want to let more than a couple goals in a night, but we stuck with it, we capitalized on our chances, and our powerplay got us a couple of goals, too," Monahan said.

"When you start working and moving your feet, that's when good things are going to happen, and that's why we got rewarded."

The Sharks got one back in the opening minute of the third, but the Flames potted a couple of quick strikes to turn a one-goal game into an 8-4 lead by the six-and-a-half minute mark.

Gaudreau led the way in a big way, scoring back-to-back goals to salt this one away.

First, he drove the net and got a piece of a loose puck in tight, sending it high in the air and landing only inches across the goal line after Lindholm put the initial puck on net.

Then, only 42 seconds later, he positioned himself in front, took a feed from Monahan, dangled three or four times and buried it five-hole to cap one of his finest performances of 2018.

Talk about coming in under the wire.

The Sharks added one more late, but by then the decision was well in hand.

"He's dynamic every night," said head coach Bill Peters. "He's dangerous every night.

"Even that game we lost against St. Louis, he was dangerous. As long as you're consistently generating offence you're going to get rewarded over time."

The Flames have now picked up five of a possible six points coming out of the Christmas break.

"All four lines found a way to contribute," Peters said. "It was a passionate game, a hard-fought game, and everyone found a way to make a positive impact on the game."

The Flames opened the scoring only 1:09 into the contest, and it was the reunited '3M Line' doing the damage offensively. Frolik made a great play to bounce off a check and shovel the puck deep, allowing Tkachuk to win the race, make a hit, and work a centering pass out front to Backlund. Backlund took the feed on his forehand, but quickly brushed it across the blue paint and hoisted a backhand over the glove hand of Aaron Dell to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.

The Sharks made it a 1-1 game on their third shot at 6:53, as Lukas Radil found himself alone in front of the net. Timo Meier cut back behind the grid, shrugged off the hard-charging Travis Hamonic, and put a beautiful centering feed through the crease and into Radil's wheelhouse.

However, the Flames got it right back off a textbook play, filtering a point shot through traffic and sending bodies to the house to wreak havoc. Tkachuk let it fly from the point, Frolik got a piece of it en route, and Backlund got the ultimate touch in tight, tipping it past Dell to make it 2-1 at 10:55.

The Flames opened up a two-goal lead with a powerplay goal at 17:24, thanks in large part to the stellar play of their goaltender at the other end. It took only eight seconds for the homeside to capitalize with former Norris winner Erik Karlsson in the box, as the captain rifled a wrister through a labyrinth of red and white sweaters, beating Dell just barely through the legs.

Rittich took over from that point forward, stoning Brent Burns from point-blank range and earning a boisterous 'Big Save Dave' chant from the Saddledome faithful.

Burns got the better of him in the end, though, as he hammered home a powerplay goal to make a one-goal game at 3:55 of the second period. He got a clean look from the top of the zone and made no mistake on the one-timer, blistering it glove side for No. 6 on the year.

Tkachuk restored the Flames' two-goal lead with a filthy PPG at 10:47. Tkachuk - cruising down Main with a strong middle-lane drive - took a ridiculous, in-flight feed from Gaudreau and, in alone, deked to his backhand and put it upstairs over the sprawling netminder.

The goal came at a point where the Flames were being outshot 8-1 in the period, but came close on numerous occasions, including a Neal post moments earlier.

The Flames kept pressing and looked to have taken a 5-2 lead late in the middle frame when Bennett cashed on a rebound, but after a challenge initiated by San Jose's Pete DeBoer, it was deemed that Bennett made contact with the netminder and the goal was wiped out.

Moments after Rittich made a gargantuan blocker save on a give-and-go between Joe Pavelski and Marcus Sorensen, the Sharks found the back of the net anyway courtesy of Joonas Donskoi and suddenly, it was a one-goal game.

But the Flames weren't fazed, potting another before the period was out to make it a 5-2 game after 40 minutes.

Gaudreau took it all the way up ice on a one-on-one, stopped up at the right dot and waited for reinforcements. It came in the form of the sharpshooting Lindholm, who beamed it short side, setting a new career high with his 18th of the season.

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Game # 41

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Flames rally for 5-3 win, hand Red Wings 6th straight loss

Sean Monahan gets Calgary on the board off an easy tap-in. Johnny Gaudreau knocks in a loose puck for the Flames' game winner in the third period.

DETROIT -- Johnny Gaudreau capped a memorable day with another splendid performance.

Gaudreau had a goal and three assists, and the Calgary Flames rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, Gaudreau was named the NHL's second star for the month of December -- and he was part of the Pacific Division All-Star roster, which was also released Wednesday.

"This was obviously a pretty wild day," Gaudreau said. "Winning was the best part, though."

Detroit led 2-0 after one period, but the Flames came back to hand the Red Wings their sixth straight loss. Sean Monahan, TJ Brodie, Elias Lindholm and Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary.

Darren Helm, Jacob de la Rose and Andreas Athanasiou scored for Detroit.

Gaudreau put the Flames ahead 4-3 midway through the third with a power-play goal after a slick play by Matthew Tkachuk, who stickhandled below the goal line and then slipped a pass between goalie Jimmy Howard and the side of the net. Gaudreau was in front to tap in the puck for his 22nd goal of the season.

"We knew we had to be a lot better in the second and third periods, but we have the confidence to know we could do that," said Gaudreau, who kept right on rolling after finishing with 11 goals and 15 assists in December.

Frolik scored into an empty net with 17.7 seconds remaining.

"I thought we got better as it went," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "It wasn't a Picasso, but we'll take the two points."

The Flames have 54 points, most in the Western Conference.

Helm, who missed the previous 21 games with an upper-body injury, marked his return with a goal in the first period. He and Athanasiou came in on a 2-on-1 break. Rather than passing, Helm dragged the puck past a sliding defenseman, switched to his backhand and beat goalie Mike Smith.

The Red Wings made it 2-0 on a goalmouth scramble. Detroit's Michael Rasmussen hacked at the puck, and it bounced off de la Rose and in.

Calgary rallied in the second. Monahan made it 2-1 with his 22nd goal of the season, and Brodie tied it when his routine shot from the point bounced off Howard's glove and in with 2:01 left in the period.

"It should never go in, so it's on me," said Howard, who is among the Atlantic Division All-Stars.

Brodie's goal started a wild stretch in which three goals were scored in just more than a minute. Athanasiou had a step on Oliver Kylington when the Calgary defenseman hooked him. Officials awarded a penalty shot that Athanasiou converted for his 14th goal of the season.

The Flames quickly tied it at 3 when Lindholm beat Howard with a wrist shot on the power play with just under a minute left in the period.

"You get to points where you're fragile. We can pretend that's not true but that's not what happened," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "We have control over that, have control of playing shift by shift, believing in ourselves, carrying ourselves with confidence, making the plays at the big moments instead of the other way."

Detroit's Dylan Larkin had his 14-game point streak snapped.

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Game # 42

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DeBrusk, Marchand lift Bruins over Flames 6-4

Brad Marchand gives Boston the lead and David Pastrnak takes advantage of a power play for a second goal as they beat Calgary 4-3.

BOSTON -- The Bruins slowed down Johnny Gaudreau just enough Thursday night, and that got them past the high-scoring Calgary Flames.

Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand each had two goals, and Boston built off its Winter Classic victory by beating the Western Conference-leading Flames 6-4.

Boston has won three in a row and six of eight. Jaroslav Halak stopped 33 shots, and John Moore and David Pastrnak also scored.

"We have been offensively challenged for quite some time," Krug said. "We've had to win a lot of tight, low-scoring games, so it was nice to win one like this."

Even in a high-scoring game, Boston needed a few key stops on Gaudreau. The former Boston College standout scored from a tight angle with 9:27 left to cut Boston's lead to 4-3 and also had an assist, but he failed to convert on two breakaways. The diminutive All-Star was coming off consecutive four-point games.

"Gaudreau is a special player with his height and how he came into the league," DeBrusk said. "He's so nifty."

Mike Smith had 21 saves for Calgary, which has dropped five of eight. Michael Frolik, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund also scored.

Pastrnak, David Krejci, Torey Krug and Patrice Bergeron each had two points for Boston. Krejci was all smiles after he and his wife had a baby boy Thursday morning.

"It was a special day," Krejci said. "They (Calgary) are really good and to get the two points was a cherry on top."

After Gaudreau's goal, DeBrusk quickly stretched the lead off a pass from Krejci with 6:14 to play. Backlund scored less than three minutes later to make it 5-4, but Marchand iced it with an empty-netter with 1:50 left.

"Caught him (Smith) off guard," DeBrusk said. "It was lucky, but I'll take it."

Frolik got Calgary going with a short-handed goal 7:46 into the game. He charged out of the box after he and Lindholm were called for penalties five seconds apart and beat Halak.

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Game # 43

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Brodie's OT goal leads Flames past Flyers 3-2

The Flames have a 2-on-1 in OT as Matthew Tkachuk passes to T.J. Brodie for the game-winning goal to beat the Flyers 3-2.

January 5, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- The Flames just needed to get out of their own way.

TJ Brodie scored 1 minute, 59 seconds into overtime after Matthew Tkachuk tied it with 4:17 left in regulation to lead Calgary to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Tkachuk assisted on the winner in the 3-on-3 extra session. Philadelphia's Jordan Weal turned the puck over in the Flyers offensive zone to set up a 2-on-1 break. Tkachuk sent a cross-ice pass to Brodie, who beat goalie Carter Hart to lift the Pacific Division leaders to the win.

"Not every game is going to be pretty and these are the games that make a difference at the end of the year," Brodie said.

Calgary committed five penalties, including two for too many men on the ice, resulting in four Philadelphia power plays. The Flames also gifted the Flyers a go-ahead goal in the third period when goalie David Rittich misplayed the puck way out in front of his crease.

When it mattered, though, Calgary figured out how to do what it has been doing all season -- win.

"We settled in and found a way to get it done," coach Bill Peters said. "That's a greasy road win."

Johnny Gaudreau notched his 24th goal of the season for the Flames, whose 56 points are tops in the Western Conference.

Travis Sanheim and Travis Konecny scored for Philadelphia, which dropped its season-worst sixth straight game. The Flyers are in last place in the Metropolitan Division; they entered tied with Los Angeles and Ottawa for the fewest points in the league.

It has been a forgettable season for the Flyers, who already have replaced their general manager and coach.

"It's tough because we're playing good hockey," Konecny said. "It just seems like teams are just scoring on the one opportunity that they're getting. It usually doesn't go that way, but that's just the way it's going for us right now."

Tkachuk tied it with 4:17 left in regulation when he beat Hart past the right pad with a wrist shot from the slot.

Konecny had given Philadelphia a third-period lead, taking advantage of a mistake by Rittich to put the Flyers ahead 2-1 at 5:57 of the period. With Philadelphia's Claude Giroux applying pressure on defenseman Rasmus Andersson, Rittich came way out of his crease to play the puck.

Konecny intercepted Rittich's clearing attempt, and then fired a wrist shot from the left circle past the retreating Flames goalie for his 10th of the season.

The victory was a sigh of relief for the Flames goalie.

"I made a mistake that almost cost us the game, so I was happy," he said.

Asked if he spoke to Tkachuk after the tying goal, Rittich said, "Yeah. `Thanks bro, I love you."

Gaudreau tied it at 1 with a pretty wrist shot from the right circle that whizzed over Hart's left shoulder during 4-on-4 play in the second period.

The 20-year-old Hart returned to the net after Michal Neuvirth suffered a lower-body injury in Philadelphia's 5-3 home loss to Carolina on Thursday, continuing the Flyers goalie carousel.

The rookie was solid, if not spectacular, and couldn't be faulted for any of the goals.

"I was seeing the puck," he said. "I felt comfortable. I wasn't overthinking things and just stuck to my game."

Hart, who made 29 saves, dropped to 2-4.

Veteran journeyman Mike McKenna was signed on Friday to back up Hart, who was making his sixth career start. If McKenna dresses for the Flyers, he would become the seventh goalie to suit up and that would tie an NHL record.

Sanheim got the Flyers on the board with a power-play goal with 7:50 left in the first period. His pass, which was intended for Weal in front of the net, caromed off the skate of Brodie and over the right shoulder of Rittich.

Rittich returned after missing the previous two games with a lower-body injury and made 32 saves.

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Game # 44

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Gaudreau scores twice as Flames beat Blackhawks 4-3

CHICAGO (AP) Johnny Gaudreau had a blast during Calgary's short stay in Chicago.

Gaudreau scored two more goals, David Rittich made 32 saves and the Flames beat the Blackhawks 4-3 on Monday.

The 25-year-old Gaudreau extended his goal-scoring streak to five games one night after the New Jersey native watched his beloved Philadelphia Eagles beat the Chicago Bears 16-15 in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

"It was a good 24 hours, to watch the Eagles win and then get a big win here in Chicago, too," he said. "It was a nice 24 hours."

Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist as Western Conference-leading Calgary closed out a 3-1 trip with its second straight win. Garnet Hathaway scored an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left, and Elias Lindholm finished with two assists.

It was the 15th road win for the Flames, matching Tampa Bay for most in the NHL.

"Just a resilient group," Calgary coach Bill Peters said.

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks in the opener of a three-game homestand. Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Saad also scored, and Collin Delia made 39 stops.

"They took it to us in the third period," Kane said. "We were in a good spot after two, tied up. We should be confident in that position. It was unfortunate they got an early goal and we got away from our game plan after that."

Kane picked up right where he left off after he collected three assists in Sunday night's 5-3 victory at Pittsburgh. The dynamic forward scored his 24th goal in the first period on a backhand from an impossible angle on the right side of the net, and then set up DeBrincat's 20th goal with a well-placed pass in the second.

But Chicago (16-22-7) was unable to hold off high-scoring Calgary. The Flames (27-13-4) are the first team since the 1995-96 Penguins to have four players collect 50-plus points within the first 45 games of a season.

Monahan tied it at 2 with a power-play goal with 1:18 left in the second, finishing a pretty passing sequence. The Flames then caught the Blackhawks in a bad line change early in the third, and Gaudreau squeezed one between Delia's pads for his 26th of the season.

"I was trying to get a quick shot through the five-hole there and it kind of squeaked in there," Gaudreau said. "Guys gave me a hard time on the bench when I got back there saying "about time." But it was a big goal."

Gaudreau, who also scored in the first, has 14 goals and 11 assists in his last 13 games.

After Hathaway made it 4-2 with his fifth of the season, Saad got one back for Chicago with 29 seconds remaining. But Calgary held on from there.

"If we play close to three periods like the way we play the second, then we win the game," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "And we didn't do it."

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Game # 45

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Giordano has 3 assists, Flames down Avalanche 5-3

Elias Lindholm and Michael Frolik each light the lamp in Calgary's 5-3 win against Colorado.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Mark Giordano has been defying his age all season.

The 35-year-old defenseman had three more assists Wednesday night and the Calgary Flames kept right on rolling with a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

"Just trying to put pucks on net, jump in when I can," Giordano said. "Playing on a pretty good power play with pretty good players, trying to move the puck around to those guys and get it in their hands and when you do that with those types of players, they reward you."

Mikael Backlund, Mark Jankowski, Elias Lindholm and Michael Frolik scored for Calgary (28-13-4), which is 6-1-1 in its last eight games. Matthew Tkachuk added an empty-net goal for the Flames, who have a two-point lead over Vegas atop the Pacific Division.

Giordano had the primary assist on Lindholm's power-play goal that broke a 2-all tie at 12:57 of the second period and Frolik's deflection that made it 4-2 halfway through the third.

"He's one of the best I've ever met. I couldn't be happier that I have a chance to play with him," Frolik said. "He's been unbelievable, especially this year. He's really driving the bus on the back end now."

Johnny Gaudreau added two assists for the Flames to extend his point streak to six games.

Giordano has 303 career assists, moving him past Joe Nieuwendyk into fifth on the franchise list.

Nathan MacKinnon ran his point streak to eight games with a goal for Colorado (20-16-8). Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen also scored as the slumping Avalanche dropped to 1-6-2 in their last nine games.

"We're not finding ways to win right now, whether it's a save at a key time or a goal at a key time," said Gabriel Landeskog, who fired 12 shots on David Rittich -- the most by an NHL player in a game this season. "We're generating plenty of chances and we allowed only 16 shots. When you do that you've got to be able to win."

Rittich, sharp all night, made 32 saves to improve to 16-4-3.

"He was awesome, again," Giordano said. "It's the timely saves that are huge, to be honest. When you're tied or you're up one and he's keeping that same score line. He's been doing it all year and again, another big night by him."

Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, tested only 15 times, fell to 11-9-5.

"We have to help them more," Rantanen said, defending Colorado's goaltending. "It's been our problem lately. Not just the last two games, even before that. We score enough goals to win, but we can't give up seven or five goals every night."

Colorado has been struggling to kill off penalties. Meanwhile, the Flames' penalty kill had a big night, going 4 for 4 against an Avalanche team that came into the game ranked fifth with the man advantage.

"Our PK, the role is to shut it down so I think we did a pretty good job of that and trying to halt their momentum," said Jankowski, who scored his seventh goal.

Frolik's goal at 9:14 of the third, when he deflected in Giordano's point shot, ended up the game-winner after Rantanen scored with 38 seconds remaining and the goalie pulled.

Calgary got off to a fast start when Backlund buried James Neal's rebound at 5:34. The Flames doubled their lead five minutes later on Jankowski's seventh.

But the Avalanche got back to even before the period ended.

Consecutive giveaways by Rittich and Monahan resulted in the Avs getting a tic-tac-toe goal from their top line with MacKinnon completing the passing sequence with Landeskog and Rantanen.

Johnson's shot just inside the post tied it with 19 seconds left in the period, but the Avalanche came up short again.

"A little bit disheartening, playing two games like that on the road back-to-back against two really good teams and coming out with nothing. Because I thought for the most part that we were really good tonight," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "It feels like defensively we have to play a perfect game right now because we just aren't getting any puck luck at the other end."

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Game # 46

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Frolik rallies streaking Flames to 4-3 win over Panthers

Matthew Tkachuk scores the go-ahead goal in the 3rd period to lead the Flames to a 4-3 victory over the Panthers.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Stuck on the bench for most of the first period, Michael Frolik got promoted and made the most of it.

After rejoining the second line with Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, Frolik had a goal and two assists to lead the streaking Calgary Flames to a 4-3 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

"It wasn't the start I was looking for," said Frolik, who had his first three-point game in three seasons. "It's not easy -- you're cold, you're not in the game. When you get out there, you get a 10-second shift and then they switch the line."

Down 2-0 in the second, Calgary got the comeback started at 10:14 when Frolik deflected in Backlund's shot for his 11th goal.

The Flames tied it five minutes later on a terrific setup by Frolik. Darting down the wing, he stopped sharply after gaining the zone, then patiently waited for Mark Giordano to jump up into the rush before sliding a perfect cross-ice pass that the captain fired past goalie Roberto Luongo.

Florida coach Bob Boughner challenged the goal, citing goaltender interference on Tkachuk, who slightly bumped Luongo seconds before the puck went in, but the call on the ice stood.

Another primary assist from Frolik gave Calgary the lead 8:29 into the third. Pouncing on Jonathan Huberdeau's turnover inside the blue line, Frolik fed Tkachuk all alone in front for his 21st goal.

"I don't know how he saw me. I was just hiding in the weeds back there and he made a great play," Tkachuk said.

Frolik has eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven games since coach Bill Peters made him a healthy scratch on Dec. 29. It's been a bumpy season for the veteran, who has bounced between lines and missed four weeks due to injury.

"He's been awesome," coach Bill Peters said when asked how Frolik has handled it. "He's been great. A good pro, veteran guy. He's been in the league a long time."

Peters wanted to roll four lines, but that didn't materialize due to the early deficit, so he juggled his personnel and went down to three.

"We fell behind early and didn't have any jump, so then we had to get going with nine guys and try to get nine guys more ice time and a little bit more of an emotional attachment to the game," he said.

Sean Monahan scored into an empty net for the Flames (29-13-4). The Western Conference leaders have won four games in a row to improve to 7-1-1 in their last nine.

Still, Peters isn't happy with his team's play of late.

"We haven't played well here for a while and it's been masked by the fact we've got wins," the coach said.

Johnny Gaudreau had an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (seven goals, nine assists).

Mike Hoffman, Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov scored for Florida (17-18-8). The struggling Panthers have lost their last five.

"It seemed like we started to panic a little bit and get away from having some poise and making plays that are needed with the puck," Hoffman said. "We kept chipping it back to them and then we weren't able to change. Long change in the second period and they kept coming."

Florida is 0-2-1 on its five-game road trip.

"At the end of the day, we had four or five glorious opportunities to go ahead in this game and get the next goal and we never did. Give their goalie some credit. He made some big saves," Boughner said.

Monahan's 24th goal ended up the game-winner after Dadanov scored with 20 seconds remaining.

David Rittich made 24 saves to improve to 17-4-3 for the Flames. Luongo, tested 23 times, dropped to 8-10-1.

Building on a solid opening 20 minutes, the Panthers surged in front by two on Huberdeau's breakaway goal 20 seconds into the second. Sprung in alone on a terrific pass by Keith Yandle, Huberdeau slipped a shot through Rittich's pads.

Taking advantage of a sleepy start by the Flames, who were outshot 10-4 in the first, Florida scored the only goal of the period when Hoffman got his 21st after a turnover by Noah Hanifin.

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Game # 47

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Giordano scores a pair, Flames rout Coyotes 7-1

Matthew Tkachuk scores a pair of goals as the Flames blow out the Coyotes 7-1.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano celebrated his 800th NHL game in style.

Giordano had two goals and an assist and the Flames defeated the Arizona Coyotes 7-1 Sunday night.

"Whenever you're playing in a milestone game, you want to win it, first and foremost," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "When you win it and you're plus-five with three points, that's something you can tell your kids and they're going to look it up and hey, it wasn't a lie. Good for him."

Giordano, the Flames' captain, has 47 points (nine goals, 38 assists) in 45 games this season, second among NHL defensemen and five points behind San Jose's Brent Burns.

"It felt good," Giordano said. "Big win for the team. It felt like we had good puck control, good movement, especially in the first and third."

Matthew Tkachuk scored two goals, and Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett also scored for Calgary, which has won five straight and improved to 8-1-1 in its last 10. The Flames lead the Pacific Division by three points over the Sharks.

Gaudreau also had an assist, extending his point streak to eight games (eight goals, 10 assists). With 69 points, he ranks second in the league in scoring, six points back of Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov.

Jordan Oesterle scored for Arizona, which had its three-game winning streak halted.

Mike Smith got the start in the nets for Calgary in place of red-hot David Rittich. He made 22 saves and improved to 13-9-1.

Adin Hill had 19 saves for the Coyotes and fell to 7-5.

Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet was not happy with his club's performance.

"We're playing a first-place team and we can't have four or five guys on the outside, looking in," Tocchet said. "We had four guys that weren't good tonight and Calgary smelt it after the first period."

Calgary surged in front on two goals 68 seconds apart late in the first period.

At 16:51, Giordano got the puck in the corner and fired a shot into the top corner from a sharp angle.

"Just a real smart, cagey guy, he shows some patience, letting the screen develop and then all of a sudden, it's on and off his stick at the right time," Peters said.

Then Monahan was left alone in the slot and he converted Gaudreau's pass from behind the net.

After Tkachuk's goal 1:36 into the second period, Gaudreau scored at 17:20 to make it 4-0. Michael Frolik's shot was stopped, but Monahan slid the rebound over to Gaudreau and he was left with an empty net.

Oesterle scored a power-play goal for Arizona, but that was erased when Tkachuk scored his second at 4:20. Less than two minutes later, Giordano added his second.

"One of the best captains I've played for, for sure, over my career," Smith said. "The way he competes on the ice, the way he practices, is just the epitome of being a true professional.

"Unbelievable guy off the ice to be around, too. I've been here a short time, but it doesn't take you long to figure out what kind of person he is and what kind of leader he is. Eight hundred games in this league playing the way he does says a lot about the person he is and the player he is. He deserves it."

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Game # 48

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Jack Eichel scores in OT to lift Sabres past Flames, 4-3

Jack Eichel goes out wide and wrists a game winner by Flames goalie David Rittich in the Sabres' 4-3 win.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Jack Eichel battled through some misfortune before scoring the overtime winner for the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

Seconds after putting a backhand off the post, Buffalo's captain rifled a low shot past Dave Rittich, on the Calgary goaltender's glove side 70 seconds into OT.

Eichel also rang the puck off the iron in the first minute of the game. He was all alone in front of Rittich with five minutes remaining in the first period, but his shot was over the net.

"Obviously you put a lot of pressure on yourself," Eichel said. "When things aren't going well, you want to be one of the guys who makes a difference.

"I think that's when you start gripping your stick and start thinking about it a little too much. Hopefully, that goal can get me going again. It's just what I needed."

Jake McCabe, Evan Rodrigues and Rasmus Dahlin also scored for Buffalo, which halted a four-game losing skid.

Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark earned the start and the win with 30 saves after relieving Carter Hutton in Monday's 7-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

The Sabres scored three goals on a total of three shots in the third and overtime periods.

"When we needed goals, we found ways to get them," Eichel said. "I think as a group, we probably weren't the most confident after losing 7-2 in Edmonton.

"This is a game we should use moving forward as kind of a building block of what we can do every night to try and give ourselves the best chance to win."

Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for Calgary, which snapped a five-game win streak.

Matthew Tkachuk and Noah Hanifin also scored for Calgary, with Elias Lindholm contributing a pair of assists.

After winning four straight starts, Rittich had 19 saves in the loss.

"I liked our game. We only gave up two shots in the third," Flames head coach Bill Peters said. "Special teams were good, two-for-three on the power play and three-for-three on the penalty kill.

"I think we held onto the puck a little too much tonight and tried to force some plays where we had other options available and could have taken what was given.

"We didn't capitalize on the three-on-one in overtime and they came back the other way and ended it."

The Flames took their point and continue to battle with the San Jose Sharks for first in the Pacific Division.

Game notes

Gaudreau became the third-fastest player in Flames history to reach the 70-point mark, doing it in his 48th game of the season.

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Game # 49

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Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames defensemen Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie score in their 6-4 win vs. the Red Wings at home.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Led by Sam Bennett, it was long-awaited and much-needed big night for the Flames' secondary scorers.

Bennett scored twice, including the go-ahead goal late in the third period, and added an assist to lead Calgary to a 6-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

On the go-ahead goal at 16:06 on the power play, Bennett was sent in on a breakaway on a pass from Derek Ryan, and fired a quick shot inside the post on Jimmy Howard, before toppling over the Red Wings goaltender.

"The puck was bouncing, so I had a little bit of trouble corralling it," said Bennett, who had his first three-point night of the season. "And once I finally did, I was pretty tight and I looked up and the first thing I saw was top glove-hand, so I just put it there as fast as I could."

Calgary finished 3 for 3 with the man advantage, with every goal coming from the second power-play unit, which hadn't produced a goal since Dec. 2. Over the last six games, the Flames are 8 for 14 with the extra man.

"I thought Benny had some emotional involvement in the game and that's when he's at his best," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "Good to see those guys get rewarded because I know they've put a lot of time in at practice, working on the power play."

James Neal, also on that unit, had a goal and an assist for his first multi-point game of the season. Ryan ended up with a pair of helpers. TJ Brodie, who plays the point on that second unit, had an empty-net goal and two assists.

"We want to chip in, for sure," said Neal, whose fifth goal was just his second in the last 33 games. "That No. 1 unit takes a heavy load and rightfully so. For us, when we get a chance to get out there, we want to make something happen. It was good to see that go in tonight."

The Flames' penalty kill also came through. After giving up a 5-on-3 goal early, they shut out the Red Wings the rest of the way while also producing the goal that made it 4-4 at 14:03.

Mark Giordano joined the rush, took a slick feed from Ryan, and fired a shot that deflected off Niklas Kronwall's stick and bounced past Howard. It was Calgary's league-leading 15th short-handed goal.

"When we go over the boards there with a 4-3 lead, we've got to at least keep the puck out of our net on the power play," said Detroit center Dylan Larkin, who had two goals. "We've got to be smarter with the puck."

Detroit finished 1 for 5 on the power play.

"We couldn't get in the zone," said Anthony Mantha, who also had a goal. "We have to blame ourselves. We knew the way they were waiting for us at the blue line there and we just couldn't handle their pressure."

Sean Monahan also scored for Calgary (31-13-5). The Western Conference-leading Flames extend their point streak to seven games (6-0-1). They're 9-1-2 in their last 12 games.

Anthony Mantha and Mike Green also had goals for Detroit, which began a three-game road trip.

Relegated to backup duties lately, Mike Smith made 31 saves for Calgary to improve to 14-9-1. He has won nine of his last 11 decisions. Making his third straight start, Jimmy Howard had 30 stops for Detroit.

Detroit went ahead 4-3 at 8:35 of the third when Gustav Nyquist got behind the Flames defense and, after mishandling the puck, passed it to Larkin, who scored his 20th.

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Game # 50

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Flames stay hot with 5-2 victory over Oilers

Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano both score in Calgary's 5-2 win over the Oilers.

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Calgary Flames are getting some offense from just about everyone right now.

Mark Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory over the rival Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

"It was a big win, for sure," Backlund said. "It means a lot to the team. We're showing strength in the third again. We found another way to win. It's great to see the character in this room and everybody digs in and we're finding ways to win."

Oliver Kylington also scored for the Flames, who are 7-0-1 in their last eight games and 10-1-2 in their last 13.

"It's about the two points each and every night," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "We're hungry for points. We want to win and we know how to play. Sometimes we deviate a little bit, but we do know how to play and when we play the right way, we're a good team."

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic scored for the Oilers, who had won back-to-back games before facing Calgary.

"They capitalized on their chances and we didn't," Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said. "We didn't generate too much. We didn't really create too many chances for ourselves. We hung in there for a while, but you aren't going to beat a team like that by playing half a game."

With Calgary leading 3-1, Edmonton pulled within one with a power-play goal 4:16 into the third period when Lucic tipped Jesse Puljujarvi's shot past David Rittich.

But the Flames regained their two-goal lead with 5:45 remaining when Backlund picked off a pass and scored his 11th.

Monahan added a power-play goal at the 16:03 mark to put the game away with his 27th of the season.

There was no scoring in the first period, although the Flames came close on the power play with 1:10 remaining. A shot by Gaudreau hit the post and then Mikko Koskinen's back and was headed into the net before the Oilers goalie made an acrobatic behind-the-back save with his glove, a play that stood a video review.

Gaudreau broke the scoreless deadlock just 44 seconds into the second period as he swung wide before putting the puck through Koskinen's legs for his 29th goal of the season and his 17th in his last 19 games.

Calgary took a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal in the middle of the period when Giordano smacked in a shot in during a scramble out front.

The Flames added to their lead late in the period on a one-timer by Kylington.

Edmonton finally got on the board with 18 seconds left in the second when Nugent-Hopkins scored his 16th while the teams were playing four aside.

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Game # 51

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Backlund scores in OT to give Flames 3-2 win over Hurricanes

Mikael Backlund makes a swift move on his game-winning goal to give the Flames a 3-2 overtime win vs. Carolina.

CALGARY, Alberta -- After fading down the stretch last season, the Calgary Flames are determined not to let it happen again.

Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds into overtime Tuesday night to give the Flames a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Calgary (33-13-5) heads into the All-Star break as the No. 1 team in the Western Conference, six points up on San Jose.

"It's good that we take the time early on to completely shut hockey off and just relax and then the closer we get to coming back, we've got to get the minds ready," Backlund said.

"Most guys were here last year and we learned a lesson from last year when we weren't as good after the break. We know what to do this time and what not to."

Calgary went 12-18-2 after Feb. 1 last season and missed the playoffs.

Oliver Kylington and Mark Jankowski also scored Tuesday for the Flames, who finished 9-1-1 in January. David Rittich made 33 saves to improve to 8-0-2 in his last 10 starts.

All-Star representative Sebastian Aho tied it for Carolina with 44 seconds left in regulation. Dougie Hamilton also scored for the Hurricanes (23-20-6), who are trying to work their way into the wild-card race in the East.

Peter Mrazek stopped 22 shots and denied the Flames on several prime chances.

"He enabled us to at least hang in there and get a point out of this game," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said.

"The positive is you came in here against one of the best teams and in my opinion, we could have had that game."

It was the first game between the teams since Bill Peters resigned as coach of the Hurricanes after four seasons and was hired by the Flames in April 2018.

Carolina led 26-11 in shots on goal after two periods but trailed 2-1.

Jankowski scored 4-on-4 at 6:40 of the second. Backlund dished T.J. Brodie's cross-ice pass to Jankowski lurking at the corner of the Hurricanes net, where he batted the puck over Mrazek.

Hamilton drew the Hurricanes even at 15:48 of the first when he wristed a drop pass from Brock McGinn by Rittich.

Kylington darted out of the corner and beat Mrazek's glove with a backhand at 1:58 of the opening period. The Hurricanes challenged for goaltender interference, but were denied.

After scoring 12 power-play goals in 10 games this month, Calgary was blanked on four chances thanks in large part to Mrazek's acrobatics.

The Flames didn't get a lot of sustained pressure in Carolina's zone until the third period.

"I don't think we played our best game, but again, we found a way to win and I think that's a big key," Backlund said

"That was one of our weaknesses last year. We couldn't find ways to win and this year, it's the opposite. Good teams, they find ways to win."

The All-Star break and bye week will provide an eight-day breather for the Flames, with the exception of All-Star participants Johnny Gaudreau and Peters.

"Going into the break it's important to go in with a good taste in your mouth," Peters said. "I like the direction which we are trending and the contributions throughout the lineup.

"We played the best when the game was on the line in the third and I thought we had some great looks that made Mrazek make some big saves for them. ... We'll take the two points heading into the break and we'll come back refreshed and ready to go."

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Game #52

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Capitals beat Flames 4-3 without Ovechkin to end 7-game skid

Mikael Backlund flips the puck over multiple Capitals defenders and schools Braden Holtby for the wild goal.

WASHINGTON -- No one man can possibly replace Alex Ovechkin for the Washington Capitals. So, forced to play without their captain and leading scorer, the defending Stanley Cup champions used contributions from just about everyone to make up the difference.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a power-play goal with 57 seconds left, and Washington shook off the absence of its finest player to end a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 37 goals, received a one-game suspension from the league for skipping the All-Star Game. He had played in 214 consecutive games, a streak that began in October 2016.

Facing the best team in the Western Conference, the Capitals also had to overcome a lower-body injury to center Lars Eller, who played only six minutes. Undaunted, Washington got goals from unheralded role players Nic Dowd and Dmitrij Jaskin, along with Tom Wilson, before Kuznetsov notched the game winner.

Without Ovechkin, the NHL's 10th-ranked power play unit was 0 for 3 until Kuznetsov connected.

"We knew that there was going to be an opportunity for some guys with Ovechkin out of the lineup," coach Todd Reirden said. "It was a big team effort from top to bottom."

With Calgary's Mikael Backlund off for holding, Kuznetsov weaved his way into the Flames' zone before firing a wrist shot past goaltender Mike Smith.

"I was just in a bad position to pass the puck," Kuznetsov said. "So I decided to shoot."

An instant after the final horn sounded, several players traded punches before finally skating off the ice.

"There was a lot of emotion on both sides. Two good teams that want to win," Wilson said. "We were playing hard right until the end there and it's loud. We were doing whatever it took to get the job done. That includes defending each other and sticking together at the end."

It was the first of six straight home games for the Capitals, who hope to get back on track after their longest losing streak since 2013-14 dropped them behind the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.

"We're looking forward. We're not looking back," Wilson said. "That was a good team effort tonight. Pretty fun to go out that way at the end. Guys are happy."

Calgary trailed 3-2 before Elias Lindholm notched his 22nd goal of the season at 12:01 of the third period. Lindholm eluded Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny to get free in front of the net, where he deflected a shot by Johnny Gaudreau into the net.

Backlund and Garnet Hathaway also scored for the Flames, who came in with the second-best record in the NHL. It was Calgary's first defeat in regulation since Jan. 3, and it ended a run of nine straight games with at least one point.

"They were a little more desperate than us, a little hungrier early," coach Bill Peters said. "We got better as it went along."

Dowd opened the scoring with three minutes elapsed, deflecting a shot by John Carlson past the screened Smith.

Backlund tied it with at 17:37 of the first period, zig-zagging past defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler after two Capitals got tangled up in the neutral zone. Less than two minutes later, Jaskin tapped in a rebound for Washington.

Wilson made it 3-1 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle in the opening minute of the second period, and Hathaway quickly answered for the Flames.

Smith finished with 36 saves, but it wasn't good enough.

"Anytime you lose a game with less than a minute left, it stings," he said. "It definitely hurts after coming back and making a game of it."

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Game # 53

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Ryan, Lindhom, Hanifin lift Flames in return to Raleigh

The Flames couldn't be stopped as they netted 3 straight unanswered goals on the way to a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Bill Peters' return to Carolina went about as perfectly as he could have imagined.

He has the players he brought with him to Calgary to thank for that.

Derek Ryan, Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin all scored in their first game back in Carolina, and the Flames beat the Hurricanes 4-3 on Sunday in Peters' return to Raleigh.

Peters resigned as Carolina's coach last offseason and took over in Calgary. Shortly after, the Flames acquired Lindholm and Hanifin in a trade with the Hurricanes, and Ryan signed with Calgary after three seasons in Carolina.

The ex-Hurricanes had a hand in all four Flames goals. Lindholm pulled Calgary into a tie late in the first, Ryan scored the go-ahead goal in the second and assisted on Garnet Hathaway's goal later in the period, and Hanifin finished the scoring with a slap shot in the third.

"You can't script that," said Peters, who coached the Hurricanes for four seasons. "All the guys involved had a positive impact on the game."

David Rittich made 34 saves as Calgary improved to 9-1-1 in its last 11 games.

A pregame video welcoming Peters, Ryan, Lindholm and Hanifin back to Carolina was met with boos by the crowd.

It only served to fire the players up. After the final buzzer sounded, Lindholm began clapping his hands over his head, mocking what the Hurricanes do after home victories. Lindholm received even louder boos after that.

"My name came up twice on the JumboTron and I got booed, so that was a nice way to end it," Lindholm said. "I was surprised. I tried to play hard here for five years and got booed. It is what it is. It was nice to end it that way."

Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Petr Mrazek made 28 saves.

The Flames scored three consecutive goals after Carolina took an early lead, and Rittich made it stand up with a string of highlight-reel saves.

Rittich stopped Justin Williams' chance at an open net off a deflection and Micheal Ferland's point-blank slap shot in the first period. He made a terrific pad save on Lucas Wallmark's one-timer in the second as well as stopping Ferland's late deflection in front of the net, and he robbed Williams again with a pad save on a one-timer in the third to preserve Calgary's one-goal lead.

"Big-time saves," Peters said. "It was a hell of a hockey game and those were some high-end plays."

After a turnover by Flames defenseman TJ Brodie in front of Rittich led to Carolina's first goal, Calgary took control. Mark Giordano's wrist shot from the point redirected off Lindholm's leg into the net to tie the score at the end of the first, and Ryan took over in the second.

He gave the Flames their first lead with a wraparound 7:38 into the period, and served as the catalyst for a short-handed goal that made it 3-1. Ryan forced a turnover just inside his own blue line, skated the length of the ice along the left boards and finished a 2-on-1 with a pristine pass to Hathaway on the far post.

"(Ryan) has had a lot of good games in this building," Peters said. "He was real good. Brought a little extra juice for him coming back into PNC Arena."

Allowing the short-handed goal was punch to Carolina's power play, which finished 0-for-4 on the day.

"If you want to look at one big difference in the game you can look at that," Williams said. "Our power play was minus-1, which can't happen. We need to execute and we need to score goals and those are crunch times. Instead of being 2-2 it's 3-1 and that's a tough hill to climb, especially against one of the better teams in the league."

After Rittich stonewalled numerous Carolina rushes in the third, Hanifin provided the backbreaker with 6:55 to go.

Aho scored with the extra attacker on with 55 seconds remaining, but Carolina's comeback attempt ran out of time.

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Game # 54

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Kane has 2 goals and an assist, Sharks beat Flames 5-2

Evander Kane has a 2-goal night in the Sharks' 4-2 win over the Flames.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Evander Kane continued his mastery of the Calgary Flames with another big performance for the San Jose Sharks.

Kane scored twice and added an assist in the Sharks' 5-2 victory Thursday night.

Kane has nine goals and 13 points in five games against the Flames since being acquired from Buffalo in a trade last February.

"We're in the same division, they're a top team," said Kane, who had a game-high eight shots and was plus-3. "You'd like to think we rise to the occasion as a group and I thought we did that tonight. Those points are so valuable. It's a four-point game against a team we're chasing."

Four consecutive wins move the Sharks to within two points of Calgary for top spot in the division.

Tomas Hertl also scored twice, and Brent Burns added a goal, and Martin Jones made 36 saves.

Jones was at his best in third period, turning aside all 12 shots he faced including diving across the crease to get the paddle of his stick on a shot from Johnny Gaudreau.

"Their power play looked really, really dangerous," San Jose captain Joe Thornton said, "and he probably made six or seven quality saves that probably saved us the game."

Mark Jankowski and TJ Brodie scored for Calgary. The Flames lost at home in regulation for the first time in nine games.

Mike Smith took the loss after stopping 16 in relief after David Rittich was pulled in the first period.

After Calgary opened the scoring on Jankowski's goal at 4:36 of the first period, the Sharks scored on three straight shots in a 1:25 span.

Kane tied it at 12:39 when he spun and sent a shot on net that dribbled through Rittich's pads. Rittich then raced to a loose puck, but fired it straight into Burns, who skated in by himself and slid it into the vacated net. That was the end of the night for Rittich after allowing two goals on six shots.

"He didn't look comfortable," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "I didn't like either goal."

It didn't start off any better for Smith, who was beaten by Hertl on a deflection 22 seconds after entering the game.

Calgary turned on the pressure for much of the third period, but couldn't get any closer despite several great chances.

"You've got to bear down," said Calgary's Sean Monahan, who finished a game-worst minus-3. "It's the NHL and it's not easy to score goals. When you get your chances, you've got to be ready and put the puck in the back of the net or if not, it's going to come back to bite you."

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Game # 55

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Pettersson scores in shootout, Canucks best Flames 4-3

Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom makes the game-sealing save on James Neal in a shootout, giving Vancouver a 4-3 win vs. Calgary.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat credited veteran goalie Jacob Markstrom with Saturday's win over the Calgary Flames.

Markstrom stopped 44 of 47 shots and put up three more saves in the shootout, leading Vancouver to a 4-3 victory over the Flames.

"We couldn't have done it without Marky tonight," Horvat said. "He was absolutely sensational, made key saves at unbelievable times of the hockey game and he was a stud in the shootout again. So big credit to him."

Several of his teammates agreed.

"I think (the Flames) were the better team overall, but Marky played really good and kept us in the game," said Vancouver's star rookie, Elias Pettersson, who had a pair of assists and put away the shootout winner.

A pair of the goalie's most memorable stops came against one of the league's top talents.

Johnny Gaudreau streaked into the Canucks' end on a breakaway with just five seconds to go in the first period and released a blistering shot, but Markstrom snatched the puck out of the air.

He repeated the feat late in the third, once again robbing the Flames winger of a goal with a stunning glove save.

"Man, (Markstrom) was dialed in tonight. What am I going to say? He was awesome tonight," Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Markstrom was humble about stopping Gaudreau, who's in the race for the title of the league's top scorer with 75 points this season.

"It was one of those things where you're just trying to make the read and I got the right read and I was fortunate enough to stop it," Markstrom said.

He credited his teammates with playing hard and making sure he was able to keep track of the puck throughout the game.

"They really pinned us down in the second," he said. "But I thought everybody really played for each other. We stood up good when they had pressure coming toward the net."

Horvat, Josh Leivo and Brock Boeser scored for Vancouver in regulation.

Sam Bennett, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane scored for Calgary.

Mangiapane's second-period goal was his first NHL goal.

"It was definitely nice. It was a little longer than I would have liked, but I felt like our line was hemming them in there in the second period and (Noah Hanifin) picked it up and made a nice pass over to me," said Mangiapane, who made his NHL debut in early December. "So it was definitely a good feeling and nice to get it out of the way."

The goal came when the Flames had Markstrom under siege, outshooting the Canucks 17-1.

"The bench was electric when he scored and that was a wonderful shift by the (Derek) Ryan line there. They really worked hard and hemmed them in and had a quality shift," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "That's a proud moment, something he will never forget."

David Rittich had 22 saves for the Flames and made two stops in the shootout.

The victory snapped a three-game losing skid for the Canucks. It was the second straight loss for the Flames, who hadn't lost back-to-back games since Dec. 22.

But Peters said there was a lot to like about how his team played Saturday.

"Definitely had some good looks. There's not a lot of big changes to be made. Power play needed to get one. We had our opportunities for sure. There was some good looks we have to cash in," he said.

Vancouver's win keeps the team firmly entrenched in a battled for a Western Conference wild-card spot.

The squad knows that every game is crucial going forward, Markstrom said.

"Points are going to be hard to come by," he said. "We've got to battle hard for 65-plus minutes. And we did it tonight. Which is a nice win."

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